In 2006 Kevin Sprague joined other area leaders in crafting the “Report on the Creative Economy” for Berkshire County of Western MA as part of a larger “Berkshire Blueprint” on regional economic conditions and development initiatives. The Creative Economy Council grew to encompass over 60 individuals representing an economic sector in the region that employed over 6,500 workers.
The idea of a “Creative Economy” was a good fit for the culture-rich Berkshire region, but it had no framework for existing or coalescing. Kevin worked extensively with the volunteer communications and media committee and the small staff of the newly-formed entity “Berkshire Creative” to forge an outreach strategy to allow for effective and low-cost community building to occur.
Utilizing a mix of open-source, web 2.0 friendly tools, Kevin crafted an integrated network of communications tools, including a wordpress-powered blog and CMS, facebook and twitter integration, e-blast tools and subscription management, and a cultural framework that allowed for participation, speed to market, and flexibility across all the systems.
In a few short years, Berkshire Creative has grown to an organization with thousands of rich connections that it can tap quickly and inexpensively. The organization has outstripped other regional economic development movements to become a leader in how agencies communicate with their constituents in dynamic, effective and efficient ways. Presently, Berkshire Creative is being called on by other regions throughout the nation to consult on their practices and techniques as a model.